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DP World Limited handled 55 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) across its global portfolio of container terminals during 2013, with gross container volumes growing by 0.7% on a like-for-like basis. The second half of the year delivered a stronger performance with volumes growing 3.6% on the prior period on a like-for-like basis. On a reported basis gross volumes declined 1.9% mainly due to the monetisation of one of our Hong Kong assets.
Encouragingly, all three reporting regions displayed a stronger performance in the second half of 2013. This was driven largely by an improved performance from our Asia Pacific, Australia and UAE terminals, while Europe continues to show signs of stability.
The UAE delivered another record year handling 13.6 million TEU, representing growth of 2.7%.
At a consolidated level, our terminals handled 26 million TEU during 2013, a marginally lower like-for-like performance.
Chairman Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem commented: “We are pleased to deliver gross like-for-like throughput growth in 2013, despite the challenging macroeconomic backdrop.
“We are encouraged by the volumes handled at our flagship Jebel Ali port, with our UAE operation recording the best year in its history. This reflects the continued growth of Dubai, the UAE and the wider region. The 1 million TEU expansion of Jebel Ali’s Terminal 2 contributed to that record result, and this year, we will add 4 million TEU new capacity at Terminal 3 to ensure we are well placed to handle future capacity demand in Dubai.
“Our London Gateway facility and our facility in Brazil, Embraport, both opened for business in the second half of 2013 and we look forward to their contribution during 2014 and beyond.”
Group Chief Executive Mohammed Sharaf commented: “Our full year throughput performance is pleasing, particularly given the softer market conditions we experienced in the first half of 2013. This illustrates the resilient nature of our portfolio which remains well positioned to capture medium to longer-term growth through its continued focus on faster growing markets and origin and destination (O&D) cargo. The quarterly trend of improvement continued into the fourth quarter of 2013 and, while the macroeconomic outlook in some regions remains uncertain, we have made an encouraging start to the current year.
“Economic headwinds combined with limited spare capacity across our portfolio constrained our ability to grow volumes further in 2013. However, the addition of new capacity in 2014 combined with a projected pick-up in global trade should allow us to return to a more normalised growth rate.
“As always, we remain focused on driving profitability by targeting higher margin throughput while containing costs and improving efficiencies. We remain confident of meeting full year market expectations.”